Category Archives: domesticity

Dear Pampered Chef: Egg In My Space

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Dear Pampered Chef,

Thank you for this:

You come over here and clean this up. Again.

You come over here and clean this up. Again.

Because I needed that to happen. Today. Well, it could have happened on any day, actually. And it sort of did because today isn’t anything special, it’s just a day that I am having like any other. But thanks to the fucking magnificent “Micro Egg Cooker,” which I will now send to my brother for his skeet-shooting practice, it’s a different day.

I did everything I was supposed to.

I used water. Room temperature today.

Before I used cold, so it would warm up together and …. it exploded.

I know if I use hot, why bother?

I watched it through the window.

I stopped it every 20 seconds or so… because I’ve been through this before.

I covered it with that absurd “boil over no more” thing you sell as was recommended by my consultant (whom I adore).

It was only in the microwave for 1:38 or — 98 seconds.

Do you know how long it takes to clean that up?

More than 98 seconds.

It took seven minutes. 420 seconds.

It’s not a huge deal, nor a massive inconvenience, and it’s surely a first-world problem.

I dig a lot of what you manufacture and sell. I even hawked it for a while. But this thing? I should’ve tossed it the first time it did that to me. That was on me, I believed you.

This is on you. But no, it’s still on me, or rather my microwave.

Do you see what it did? It shot that poor little egg all the way out.

Here, look at the ceiling of my microwave:

Egg DNA all over my microwave. It's like a crime scene.

Egg DNA all over my microwave. It’s like a crime scene. “Can you account for the weasel’s whereabouts around the time of this incident?”

Just beforehand, I checked the “cooker” (you should re-name it to “launcher” — “Micro Egg Launcher” has a more truthful ring to it doesn’t it?) for signs not three seconds (95 seconds) before it blew up. There were no signs a “homemaker” like I would have seen. I’m not a chemist.

But I did just learn this:

Microwave oven – egg, not a good idea unless..
You must puncture the yolk sack if you are doing any thing with eggs in M/W oven.

The yolk is contained in its sack, liken it to the womb, virtually indestructable,so when you apply ”heat” i.e m/w energy the yolk heats up and like every thing when you heat it, the yolk expands. The ”sack” will stretch so far then burst with considerable ”pressure” and spread yolk into every conceivble nook and crany in side the oven.

Any thing, everthing you put into a microwave oven must be able to expand with out any restrictions.
The rate of expansion varies in differing food substances hence the differing cooking times for foods etc.

Not sure what you can and can’t put in it..
If in doubt leave it out.
If all else fails read the instructions.

But I’m wondering if you knew that — to tell us to lance the yolk sac — I’m GUESSING…… NO.

Perhaps it can be fashioned as a gladiator bra for when I dress up for Hallowe’en.

Perhaps I can use it to hold paperclips of different sizes.

Perhaps I can use it to melt butter.

Perhaps I can do what I said I’ll do: send it away for skeet shooting.

Yes. That’s what it deserves. To go POP! like the eggs it destroys.

Here’s a fun clip for you to watch when you’re counting your cash from the sales of this failure:

One minute. At 45 seconds it starts to crack the shell and ooze.

You recommended 2 minutes, as the average, when I bought this door stop.

There are no complaints online about this device that I can find.

Some devotees say to cook as long as 3 minutes… If I did that, I bet my microwave would be doorless.

Never again, Pampered Chef. Please stop selling this ridiculous device. Oh, these are all my opinions by the way.

Thank you.

ISO: my missing $7.50 sock.

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so i bought a pair of socks about two months ago with my son, Thing 2 (11).

he needed new sneakers because the leather ones he insisted on wearing had a smell all their own. we bought the socks when we bought the sneakers.

the old sneakers (not the new ones) smelled like garlic and cat piss.

I. Kid. You. Not.

we used to think that there were dying muskrats in the house or musk anything in the house when he would remove them.

so we went to a local running store to get new ones.

“what about your quest for equanimity? to just let things be?” you ask?

“what about my quest to exist in my home without searching for SCUBA tanks?” i retort.

the guys at the running store Have Great Legs. it is very coincidental that they’re all about 24 years old too.

T2 tried on a pair of nice running shoes. i wanted to get him mesh ones so that they could breathe too. after all, if he was going to kill another pair of sneakers with his foot’s death stench, they should at least be able to breathe.

he liked them, they had to order them in his size.

“come back wednesday, they’ll be in then from our blahdeblah store” said a blonde guy who looks like this:

So we go back a few days later.

When we return, we were met by an employee who looked like this:

“how about some socks to try them on?” i squeak-ask, twirling my hair and twisting my toe into the carpet.

so the guy and his dimples who looks like the man in the second picture above floats to the rack and summons a pair socks, “any favorite color, buddy?” he says to my son.

“green. i like green,” says T2. “look mom, they have your favorite, periwinkle!” he adds.

the green socks waft magically to my son as the man who looks like the man in the second picture above gestures his hand in T2’s direction.

i’m doing my best to keep it together, man.

the man who looks like the man in the second picture above looks at me and says, “oh? periwinkle? that’s a great color. it’s >DO NOT SAY “MY MOTHER’S” … DO NOT SAY “MY MOTHER’S”< my grandmother’s favorite color.”

a part of me died inside.

“oh, your grandmother’s? is she 44?”

no, i didn’t say that. rewind the tape >deedlweedletweedlweeetloodledeedle<:

“oh, your grandmother’s? it’s a classic color, very serene and comfort– oh, you have a pair in my size in periwinkle? great….”

“you’re what, a small?” and he commands the socks that are his grandmother’s favorite color to land on the new sneaker’s box.

T2 is racing around the store, “i loooove these shoes, mommy! they make me so faaaast! these socks are so comfy!”

“i love it when kids say that the shoes make them faster…” the man who looks like the man in the second picture above said. “i used to say that when i was little …”

“yeah. me too. what?” i said. i mean, i did NOT want to imagine the man who looks like the man in the second picture above as younger.

“so, that’ll do it for you both? would you like to try on any shoes?” said the man who looks like the man in the second picture above.

“no. i uh, i’m wearing these because, um, i was gardening. these are my scuzzy gardening sneakers. my running shoes don’t garden. they’re at home… i take fitness very seriously.”

WAKE UP man who looks like the man in the second picture above!

i think i put him to sleep.

“c’mon mom! let’s go home! i wanna show these to brothers and dad!”

so we walk to the register. $65 shoes becomes $99.

what the what?!

“debit. oh, here, i’ll sign. all the machines are so different, i never know where…”

i don’t care. the man who looks like the man in the second picture above is smiling; yellow feathers are popping out of his mouth. i am the canary.

i was in the cage, like this:

when i wanted to be out of the cage, like this:

we get home. T2 shows off his sneaks and everyone’s excited.

the breadwinner (that’s my husband’s new blog identity) asks about their cost because he wanted a pair just like them a few months ago but they were out of them and i tell him,

“$65, but the socks added $30. >wince< pleasedon’tfaint.”

the breadwinner? oh, he went out to get bread and never came back.

i tried on my socks the next day. they were awesome. in fact, they are guaranteed for life … they better be at $7.50 a pop.

after that, i lost one. i never actually ran in them.

i’m a little bummed about that. so if anyone sees the right one to this one:

please let me know. we can go tell the man who looks like the man in the second picture above all about it.

thank you.

UPDATE, 8/21/12: I found my sock! It was in my son’s laundry! It smelled clean! I don’t know how that happened!

when the appliance gods hate you.

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i must live on some geologic magma displaced magnetic fault. how to say this … we’ve replaced the same. … no. we have a stove that has been replaced … nope. that’s not it either.

ok: we have had to replace a stove 3 times in the 12 years we’ve lived here.

the current one and the one preceding it are “radiant ceramic cooktops” woooOOOo. that’s a fancy word for momma don’t like electric, she likes gas, so this is the closest she can get without installing a gas line into the house. the first stove was a standard electric coil. but it smelled like peanut oil from the previous owners and died about two months after we moved in. its left front and right rear burners died.  that behavior don’t fly with me when i’m pregnant and new in a house with a two-year-old. come to think of it though, i have to wonder when is it an appropriate time in the life of a busy mother for a major appliance to become insane? it’s not like they’re dead or broken… my appliances just sorta work when they feel like it. aHA! they’re like teenagers. got it. that makes so much more sense now. 

the second stove / range / cooktop WHATevuh, worked for about 2 years and then wouldn’t turn off. it was great fun for yours truly. it happened when i was hosting a “pampered chef” party (yes, this is true, no i swear i’m not lying) and the oven turned on to something like 895˚ all by it’s little ol’ self.  i’d feared all my friends and i shared menopausal hot flashes simultaneously due to some dip we ate from our presenter. i thought, “oh great. no one will ever want to come back to my house…”

ha! ha! ha! ha…. the dip was fine. it was the stove! it wouldn’t turn off! i had to go down to the basement and throw the circuit breaker to spare all our lives! silly GE.

after the refrigerator stole my cat (that’s a joke), we’d determined that the appliances were taken over by the demon possessing that 1958 Plymouth Fury in Steven King’s Christine. after her indelicacies had been discovered in that car, she’d decided to move on and had taken up residence in various appliances in my life.

there was the washing machine that wouldn’t wash. it apparently was the Woolite model. “just soak in cold water for 3 minutes and rinse” became “just soak in cold water for 5 hours.” no really, “just soak.”

as a teenager, we had a dryer that only burned clothes. that was fun. and in the era that preceded its incineration stage, the door wouldn’t stay shut so we propped a shovel against it to keep it closed. maybe it was trying to tell us something when it actually growled, “YOUR SOUL IS MINE, AND SO ARE YOUR UNDIES” the day it set ablaze my bloomies. the tuesday ones too. i didn’t know my fanny was ever that smokin’.

i used to have a snoopy hair dryer that my husband gave me when we first got married. snoopy apparently was jealous of my long raven locks and decided to pull several of them together into his fan and tangled them up into a formation resembling what you’d normally find on a shower drain. snoopy was wrong though, my husband loved ME more. when i threw him out, he made that “waaaaaaayaayaayaaaaaailllll” sound.

and a waffle maker that preferred its secret “frisbee” or “hockey puck” modes to anything else we anticipated.

so the stove we have now works on three burners instead of the four we paid for five years ago when we bought it with the intention of using all four whenever we felt like it.

the irony is that i think this particular stove is either the “how ya like me now?” or the “up yours” models we’d heard so much about but thought we’d avoided. one of the splendid vagaries of the “up yours” model, is what’s called the “that’s what you think” mode. when you’re cooking something, the burners intermittently decide to work and then, oh… stop.

the difference between the one we have and the “up yours” model is that the “up yours” simply burns everything. the more i think about it, i believe the second stove was an “up yours” model. i’d say we lucked out. i’d much rather have potential food poisoning than no dinner at all.

part of the fun of the “how ya like me now?” model is its coquettish antics. the left front burner, the largest one on the surface is seldom used because of its size. i don’t know about you, but i like the skin on my forearms just the way it is and i don’t use our 15″ skillet if i can help it because i also fancy the tendons leading to my wrists. so i’m guessing the burner in question that we seldom use has decided to go on strike because it feels unloved.

now, true to human nature, because we are now disallowed the opportunity to use the burner that we paid for, she has taken her ball and gone home. hmph! no dinner and a movie even. so, because i am a human, top of the food chain, i took a ladle and banged the front panel of the range. HEY! it worked for The Fonz. (culture / age restriction notice: if you don’t know who The Fonz is, you need to go to YouTube and look him up … oh, here: The Fonz) all you cats who dig The Fonz can sit on it! 😉 and when i banged the front panel of the range i dented it. three times.

Christine won.

so here we are, with our 3/4 grudge-holding, “how ya like me now?” stove,  whatever, cooktop, and our smoldering desires to use that burner now that it doesn’t work. suddenly nothing can be cooked the way that burner that we never really used can cook them.

what IS that about people? when i was pregnant, i was told to not eat soft cheeses. all i wanted after that was soft cheeses. once i had the baby, i didn’t want the soft cheeses. when we are told not to have caffeine suddenly it’s all we can think about?! “don’t smoke!” i want a cigarette. “don’t swear!” grabinatizin abterfrakin.

now i want my burner back. i guess that means a call to Rick! the repairman. woobooouy.

thank you.

the cleaning ladies and mrs hyde

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the cleaning ladies are coming today. this is never good for anything –and i mean ANYthing– within a 12-foot radius of my person that is considered the remotest bit inconsequential.

having the cleaning ladies come is a luxury and like binge-drinking, overshopping, gambling and reckless behavior, for some, it is something for me, that will likely have me wind up in rehab.

i am not a nice person when i am preparing for the cleaning ladies.

some women get PMS and turn into comPLETE banshees. i get PCLS: pre cleaning ladies syndrome and i morph into this crazed, maniacal, anti-ecosystem/anti-green, anti-child, anti-fun, anti-leisure reading, anti-just-livin’-the-comfortable-existence entity. ask my husband.

i feel judged by my cleaning ladies. they don’t understand a blessed word i say; however, when i ask them hopefully and self-depricatingly: “so, are other houses just as bad?” they smile at me and watch the dog walk by and say “bonito perro. bonito… sí sí…” and then nod at each other and say “lahga gadada lekiko mika la dida de larade luto de miga de lolo de koko ahhhh… mi garto de linga…ja ja ja” as they climb up my stairs and enter the domains where we slumber. i shudder because well… i know there’s a sock somewhere it doesn’t belong. don’t get me wrong: i have MAD respect for these women. they shame me. but we can’t relate. i wish i spoke spani-ko-chi-reek. i just don’t. and on the days they arrive: i’m barely rational, so my aspirations to chat with them about the Susan G. Komen bull$hit that is happening right now is unlikely. uh-oh… i feel a digression coming on…

focus. focus.

i can’t have the cleaning ladies more frequently than every 2 weeks. it’s not because of finances (well, i’m sure that’s a factor too) but rather it’s because my husband and my children need a wife and mother and sentient human in their lives. i would literally HANG FROM A BRIDGE (with no intention of dropping, mind you) to just escape the reality of preparing for the cleaning ladies. i become a rabid, seething, insane person before they come.

GET THE LEGOS OFF THE FLOOR!

ANYTHING YOU CARE ABOUT IS GONESKI IF YOU DON’T CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM!

it’s like a sheet from the book of revelations is tacked on the refrigerator or some biblical prophecy around here before they come… my kids don’t fear a plague of locusts or frogs or even the seven horsemen of the apocalypse… what they fear is MOM preparing for the cleaning ladies.

DON’T you DREAM of ASKING ME WHERE YOUR PRECIOUS SCIENCE PROJECT RUBRIC IS IF YOU DON’T PREPARE FOR THE CLEANING LADIES!

like any rational, normal and sane person you might ask, “mol, why do you do this? why don’t you just let them come and not freak or prepare for them?” and i would say, “because EVERYTHING is not where it belongs when they leave if i don’t prep for them. they can’t vacuum if there are legos everywhere… they can’t dust if the homework and backpacks are on the dining room table…”

to maintain our marriage and keep the cleaning ladies coming, we’ve decided that the playroom is switzerland and if the kids don’t get it ready, then those legos (which are from denmark or something) can get sucked up in the Oreck (which sounds danish) and that’s close enough to switzerland for me.

339 days of the year, i like the idea of recycling. i endeavor to have more in my recycling bin than in my trash. often this is the case. but on pre-cleaning ladies day… EVERYTHING goes. what makes me unhinged is when they come over and they take a 1/2 full (see, i’m an optimist at heart) garbage bag and throw it out. i am instantly thrown into traction.

339 days of the year, i like to read The Week, The WSJ, Vanity Fair, a BOOK. but not on the day they come… i lump it all together — from the WSJ to Thing 3’s coloring book of trucks — and it goes into some crazy pile of literature blessed with the craven spirit of “WHY THE @)(#&%! don’t we read this @)(%@ when it first comes out… why does it have to @$%()@*% sit around for 13 days before these people come again?!”

i blame my junk drawer’s advanced evolution on the cleaning ladies. it has 2 tiers. there’s an >snort< organizer from IKEA (a beloved destination of mine, but one that inspires me to think EKTORP and HEMNES and BOND´E are words i absolutely don’t want to include in a discussion at a cocktail party…) which rests upon a melánge of pencils, chapsticks, toothbrushes, coin-shaped batteries, finger paint, glue sticks, hair cutting shears (for the dog and occasional kid — i’ll blog about our Flo-Bie later), paper clips and a compass, an air pressure gauge for car tires, old credit cards, new credit cards, food coloring tubes, capless magic markers, an incense pad that holds the product to prevent it from setting my house ablaze, iPod USBs, ponytail holders, rubber bands, game pieces from board games … Monopoly houses, sugar packets (?!), spongebob erasers, lego heads… a sewing kit from a hotel, hotel soaps… i mean, really. it’s nuts. no, i actually found a packet of crushed nuts from a sundae kit in the drawer.

but what happens when they come and they see things on my counter that they don’t know what to do with? a third tier in the junk drawer is born because they take a magazine and put it on top of the crap i already have and clearly don’t want to deal with, and then put the things they don’t want to deal with on top of that. and so when we come out of hiding after they leave, i instantly go to the junk apartment and try to make sense of it.

i have them come because i don’t want to do the things they do AT ALL. i don’t mind vacuuming and i keep a tidy kitchen and i believe in clean sheets, etc., but i don’t wanna clean the toilets, scrub the tub, clean the microwave and the toaster oven. i don’t want to wipe down the glass doors (but i will) and so when they come, there are things i do that they don’t and their doing the things they do allows me to do the things they don’t: wash the baseboards, wipe down the doors and other disease prevention tasks.

another reason i have them come is pure vanity. i recall a “Law & Order” episode where my beloved Vincent D’Onofrio (“Bobby Goren”) and his partner “Alex Eames” (i don’t know the actress’s name, i don’t care about her) enter a crime scene. the requisite bludgeoned victim is sprawled along the floor, a pool of chocolate syrup with red food dye is beside her head, etc. and the dwelling is a little out of sorts… not from a would-be robber, but … well… because she’s messy. and so Goren and Eames are stepping around things and casing out the joint; using pens to lift up papers, gently moving heavier things about with their hands in latex gloves. Goren picks up a framed photo of the victim with her son, it’s a recent shot because the little guy’s at day care and she’s a struggling addict in recovery who’s also a waitress (but clearly knows some bad people ’cause y’know, she’s like: lying dead now). and in comes the first officer on the scene and he says, “other than being a complete slob, i can’t figure what this woman is guilty of…”

so THAT’S why i have the cleaning ladies come back. my prep strife is definitely worth the potential for post-mortem ridicule… i like to consider that it’s similar to the proverbial grandmotherly advice to always wear clean underwear in case you’re ever put in an ambulance.

sometimes i stay home when they come; to sort of mitigate the mayhem and it’s like i’m an advance team fumbling over myself, brushing the CRUMBS off the table while they’re in another room legaka de mito um rere di mika-ing away… as if i work for them… it’s really crazy. but not today. i just saw their little silver car pull up. i’m so outta here. omigod, they’re laughing.

thank you.

update on 5/10/12: this is what i came home to today:

who does this?! who puts an electric griddle in the oven?! i mean, really! it wasn’t as though the kitchen were a disaster! it was actually in pretty good shape… THIS, to avert this is why i become mrs hyde…